Early Spa (1)

It’s miles to Miles City across this grassy flat,
And cattle by the dozens can gorge themselves to fat

A drilling firm in fifty-six came here for a go
They struck no oil, just pressurized but thermal H 2 O

The flow was such ‘twas feared, that if left to spout alone
The water well would soon enough drain old Yellowstone

They capped their geyser, and then astute’ new owners saw
A straight and forward way to build a basic spa

One night some high school students broke in and got a start
They landed in the hospital with burns on private parts

From real fear of lawsuits, then, dismantled was their dream;
Excepting this one lonely tub, there’s little left but steam. 

Larry Stanfel has a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering/Management Science from Northwestern University, held the rank, Professor, at several universities, and worked frequently as a consultant for the federal government and to private business. He has published two books – another is in review – seventy articles, mostly peer-reviewed, in periodicals, about a dozen poems, and several web pieces. Twice a winner of competitive fellowships for post-doctoral research abroad, he has presented papers around the world and been an invited speaker in a number of countries. Listed in Who’s Who in America, Dr. Stanfel presently lives with his artist wife, Jane, on a small ranch in Montana.

Painting above, ‘The Spa’ by Jane Stanfel

An artist most of her life, Jane, painting in a realistic-impressionist style, works primarily in oils and watercolors. Her paintings are found throughout the United States and Europe, including the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle. She has had exhibitions across Montana which document the lives and ranches of original settlers. She also had a month-long solo show at Jadite Galleries, New York City; been part of a show in Brussels, Belgium; had a solo exhibit in Seattle, Washington, two at the .Royal Norwegian Embassy in Washington, D.C. and two in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Her painting, Old Time Branding, was chosen as the logo for the Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering, August, 2008, and she completed a series of oil and watercolor paintings of endangered species for Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, Gulf Shores, Alabama. Her painting entitled It Never Had Brakes, is featured in the book, Montana: Stories of the Land, by Krys Holmes, Montana Historical Society Press, Helena, Montana, 2008. She has conducted children’s art classes throughout Montana and is listed in Who’s Who of American Women, Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in America, and the Archives on Women Artists, at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D. C. She and her art have been featured in magazines and newspapers across Montana, and her art has been reviewed in the New York art journal, Gallery and Studio. June/July/August 2008.

Her oil paintings have been sold in galleries throughout the United States including Kertesz International Fine Art Gallery, San Francisco, California; Wilson Adams Art Gallery, Denver, Colorado; Cody Country Art League, Cody, Wyoming; Dancing Bear Gallery, Evanston, Illinois; and JaneStanfel.com.

We are featuring ‘A Cowboy(girl) and Their Sidekick’ for our Ekphrasis Challenge, and thought we would share more of what it means to identify and uphold ones deep feelings towards an animal. Many of these animals were here before we walked the planet. They are loyal creatures and deserve to be treated as such. One of our friends out there, living the true western life gave us this great idea for our Ekphrasis and shared a bit more about his sidekick, Rad…

RadAndMerleGrabhorn

“Every rancher has a special horse, usually very smart with a personality. A good ranch horse is a rare gem. It knows how to sort and cut cattle. It knows how to be a header or heeler if roping needs to be done. Steep gullys, rocky fords, or narrow trails through brush won’t spook him. And that special horse will form a very amazing bond with its rider.

In parts of Oklahoma, the Native Americans consider Rad to be a “Medicine Horse”. In other words, he has “magic” same as a Medicine Man.

This is because he has blue eyes which is uncommon in horses. Native Americans believe that a blue eyed horse can “see” things. Since the Great Spirit lives in the blue sky, a horse with blue eyes can see him.

A blue eyed horse would belong to a great chief, a medicine man, a great warrior or great hunter in the tribe. The tribal medicine man would like at the horses markings to determine the “medicine” that the horse has. The medicine man would look at the markings sort of like looking at clouds and seeing shapes. The shape, of the markings would signify the type of magic the horse had.

A Native American medicine man has looked at Rad and this is what he found.

He has a “Buffalo” mark on the neck that can only be seen when Rad has his head down grazing. This means he can see where the buffalo graze, a very important piece of magic for a society that depending on the buffalo. On his hip, and you can see it in the picture, is the hunter/tracker marking. Turn your head sideways and you can see it.

It is a Native American on his hands and knees, looking at tracks. There is a trail behind him and a few tracks just in front of him. The Native American has an eagle feather in his hair (so the medicine man says) which signifies a heroic hunter/warrior. There are other markings that have been interpreted by the medicine man.

Rad is a horse that would belong to a great hunter/warrior that would be known for honesty, bravery, and generosity. He would successfully hunt and share the meat with the less fortunate members of the tribe; the old, the sick, the widows with young children.

The medicine man told me that since the horse “Chose” me, I should do what the horse wants. Be Brave, Honest, and Generous to the less fortunate. He said that since the horse “chose me” and has become “one with me”, I have been successful in doing so.”

-Merle Grabhorn

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